Originally owned by Harry Shaw, Shaw's opened in 1947 as a steakhouse and was located 2 blocks south of the current location at the corner of Broad and Chestnut Streets. Harry Shaw also owned another iconic Lancaster landmark, Hotel Lancaster, which was built in 1941.
The Cork family purchased Shaw's from Harry Shaw in 1975 and upon Harry's death in 1978, the Cork family purchased the Hotel Lancaster. For a brief period, the hotel was run as the RJ Pitcher Inn after a man who owned a tavern at the location in 1806. In 1989, the original location of Shaw's at Broad and Chestnut Streets was closed and the restaurant merged with Hotel Lancaster and was renamed Shaw's Restaurant & Inn. While Shaw's Inn closed on November 12, 2016, Shaw's Restaurant will remain an integral part of the living history of downtown Lancaster.